UPDATE 2-Russian oil bosses voice support for oil output freeze, not cut
* Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Venezuela agree on oil output freeze
* Russia's Novak says Russian firms support proposal
* Novak says Iran should be offered individual deal (Adds details, quotes, background. Combines stories)
By Vladimir Soldatkin
MOSCOW, March 1 (Reuters) - Russian oil companies back the idea to freeze output at near-record levels reached in January, but did not support any proposals to cut oil production to lift global prices, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin met the heads of the country's top producers, including Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin, Lukoil CEO and co-owner Vagit Alekperov and others, to hear their views on last month's proposed output freeze.
Novak, who was negotiating the first potential global oil pact in 15 years in Doha, said Putin and the oil firms, which pumped at a new post-Soviet high in January at 10.88 million barrels per day (bpd), discussed the deal at the Kremlin.
"Companies have confirmed that they support this initiative and in general, this should give quite a positive signal to the market," Novak told reporters after the meeting.
"Our companies do not propose 'radical' measures. As you know, in our climate this is hard (to do) - if you are meaning proposals to cut production. We have discussed this option, too... but all supported the idea we discussed in Doha." Continuación...